Oakfield is a not for profit housing development - where we’re creating 239 quality, sustainable homes - on a derelict brownfield site in our hometown of Swindon where no other housebuilder was prepared to build. Nationwide may not be the first name on your mind when listing house builders. But bringing people together to build better quality homes was the starting point of what became the modern building society.

And although our members no longer put their change into a pint pot at the pub, they still shape what we do. Each year, 1% of Nationwide’s pre-tax profits goes to good causes, including our own social investment work. We work with our members to direct this spending. In 2016, they voted to make housing a priority and backed Nationwide to, once again, play a more direct role in housebuilding.

Reflecting that pioneering spirit of the building society founders, we wanted to take a fresh approach to housebuilding to tackle the issues we could see.

Sustainable homes for everyone, a community for everyone

Image of proposed Oakfield neighbourhood

Every Oakfield home will be designed and constructed to a high quality, so they’re built to last. We’re focusing on architectural design with notable green credentials and an ambition for EPC A rating across the development.

We’re also meeting Swindon Borough Council’s ‘Affordable homes’ target. Thirty percent, that’s 71 of the homes will be available as Affordable Rent or through Shared Ownership.

More than houses, we’re creating a community. Where young people can put down roots and where homes are designed to be easily adapted for older people to remain in their community throughout later life.

The design hopes to inspire a sense of neighbourliness through shared gardens, a park, play area and community hub. And so the new neighbourhood can integrate and link with neighbouring communities and their amenities, we’re improving cycle paths and walking routes.

The way we’ve created this project has focused on bringing people together from the start, working hand in hand with those who live, work, study and play close by. We employed a Community Organiser, Keith Brown to work with local people and encourage them to create a new community with us. They’ve been involved every step of the way.

Where are we now?

Image of proposed Oakfield neighbourhood

In April 2020 our construction partner Mi-space started on site. We expect the first homes to be ready in late 2021. We’ll be launching a website dedicated to Oakfield shortly where you’ll be able to find out more about the homes we’re building and the progress we’re making.

A thoughtful approach to housebuilding

Image of proposed Oakfield neighbourhood

“For some years now, the UK has fallen short of national housebuilding targets, failing to reach the 300,000 plus homes a year this country needs. A new wave of non-traditional house builders are emerging, challenging existing practices to increase the supply of housing. But more needs to be done, and on a bigger scale. As well as increasing supply, we need to improve community involvement in the planning process and deliver quality, sustainable homes people want. For us, the significance of what we’re doing goes beyond Oakfield itself. We want Oakfield to mark the start of a new movement in house building for the 2020s, reminiscent of the one created at Letchworth Garden City in the early 1900s. To support this, we’re committing to creating a blueprint to share what we’ve learnt – our mistakes, as well as our successes. I hope it inspires others to create good quality, sustainable homes where community can flourish.”

Joe Garner, CEO

We want to inspire other responsible businesses to do more to tackle the housing crisis. You can read more about our aspirations and how you can get involved in this booklet. If you’d like to find out more please email us at oakfield@nationwide.co.uk

Keith Brown

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about the blueprint we’re creating please email us at oakfield@nationwide.co.uk

Are you local? Keith Brown our Community Organiser can be reached on 07825 832843 if you live locally to Oakfield and have any questions or would like support with a community project.

You can also sign up for email updates and we’ll get in touch with news as the project progresses.


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